PHQ advised the public never to open emails/messages from unknown sources and never download unverified apps and also whenever there is solicitation or advertisements or information regarding easy income, returns, loans, lottery, prize money, cash back etc. which appear attractive. One should be vigilant and not be lured by such scams.
By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent
Financial cybercrimes and frauds are on the rise in the country and including Nagaland where various sophisticated, complex methods and modus operandi are used by fraudsters and criminals to loot victims of their hard earned money.
According to Police Headquarters (PHQ), Nagaland, some of the recent frauds unearthed in the country have been reported in the national media. In one such scam, cyber crooks were arrested from different parts of the country for duping thousands of people by creating a fake State Bank of India (SBI) app similar to the SBI Yono. They fraudsters duped people by making them download the app through Phishing (fraud emails/messages claiming to be genuine to steal personal information like password, bank details etc. or to install malwares) and then impersonating fake bank employees asking KYC (know-your-customer) update details.
In a major scam under the banner and style “Chinese app seams”, lakhs of Indians have been looted of crores of rupees where victims were enticed with small returns/profit on investments made by these fraudsters. After gaining the trust of the victims, they lure them to start investing money. Once the investment comes, the fraudsters disappear with the money.
Attractive fake advertisements/publicity are generated like “earn money sitting at home, doubling income schemes, crypto investment, gaming applications investment etc”, and one common feature of all these scams was that Chinese apps are used and Chinese nationals suspected to be involved, said the PHQ.
One example is the “Power bank app” case where lakhs of victims across India were looted of Rs 300 crore, where a power bank app listed in Google Play store projected itself as a Indian based company involved in quick charging technology and the company lured victims to invest their money on the pretext of doubling their money in a short time.
Similar apps under different names like EZ money, EZ coin etc. have been used.
The main handlers in many of the cases are based in China and the rackets are operated in a multi-layered fashion where the money goes through many agents, partners etc.
The money is then transacted through multiple bank accounts, crypto accounts and popular e-wallets like PhonePe, Paytm and in most of the cases, rapport and trust is established with the victims after which they are defrauded.
In another multi-crore financial fraud in India, also related to the Chinese app scams, a large racket involving loans was unearthed where victims are given loans through downloaded apps and all their details are accessed by the fraudsters and later, they are harassed and extorted with huge interest rates.
In this regard, the PHQ Nagaland has made the public aware of the widespread operation of such cyber financial fraudsters who are well organized and go through extra efforts to appear genuine and real to victims.
It also stated that the “fraudster(s)” operate through multiple identities, accounts, phone numbers etc. Public has also been advised to remain ever vigilant and follow some basic cyber financial hygiene including never to share personal details, bank account details, OTPs, password, PIN numbers, credit/debit card details with anyone.
Further, the PHQ advised never to open emails/messages from unknown sources and never download unverified apps and also whenever there is solicitation or advertisements or information regarding easy income, returns, loans, lottery, prize money, cash back etc. which appear attractive, one should be vigilant and not be lured by such scams.